McDonald's infamous clown mascot rules over the inhabitants of McDonaldland, a Boschian purgatory for gluttons inhabited by bulbous grotesques obsessed with hamburgers. It's the sort of dream-within-a-dream dystopia McDonald's has been treating kids to since the 70s.
I picked this particular ad because it features Ronald and his indistinct catfish-faced gumdrop of a friend, Grimace. Most characters in McDonaldland represent either a menu item or a sin. Birdie is the wailing psychic death of a trillion chickens. The Fry Guys are semi-sentient lumps of carbohydrates and googly eyes living at the junction between deep fried potatoes and the reptile brain. Mayor McCheese clearly represents simony and the Hamburglar is envy.
That leaves Ronald and Grimace. Ronald is the one inhabitant of McDonaldland that most resembles mankind. He's terrifying to behold, sure, but in him we see ourselves reflected and distorted. He is degenerate sexuality, deviant cravings, and an abiding love of McNugget-themed musical theater.
Grimace is the demiurge, the creator. From him all things in McDonaldland have sprung. He is not a sin, he's not a menu item, he's just Grimace. He exists. He rolls his lidless eyes and flaps his lipless mouth, formless and terrible, a protean idiot thing from the depths of pre-history.
A case could be made that Ronald and his rogue's gallery have contributed to the success of McDonald's. A superior case could be made that the surrealist dystopia of McDonaldland is tolerated because fatty wanna eat.
It is my contention that if we let the terrorists win, this is what every day will look and taste like.
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Landmarks and statues around the world: old, boring and could use an update.
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